Most of the talk about so-called "political capital," and how events and opinion polls, choices of battles and actions, somehow increase or decrease it, are nonsense!
I argued a couple of days ago that the sort of political fight--such as a Supreme Court pick (or a tax bill)--that Bush is supposedly "too weak" to pursue right now, is exactly what he needs--what will strengthen him; something those who keep repeating the "his political capital is depleted" line cannot comprehend -- because not many really know what "political capital" really is, or how it is acquired, and "spent." (Hint: what most think of "spending" such capital is actually how one accumulates it, and vice-versa.)
But enough from me. Here's what Fred Barnes said:
"But the simple fact of governing in Washington is that popularity is not a measure of power. In the late '90s, President Clinton's approval rating stayed well above 60%, even after he was impeached. But Mr. Clinton had almost no clout. True, this was partly because he faced a Republican Congress. A Bush aide was accurate (if self-serving) in drawing the distinction this way: 'The difference is between polls in the 40s and changing history and being in the 60s and twiddling your thumbs. We'll take the 40s. That's our motto.'"
Go read his entire column by clicking the headline above.